Archive | March, 2011

On Watoto From The Nile- Letter to Lil Wayne

3 Mar

This musical open letter to Lil’ Wayne is getting lots of love!

I want to join the chorus and give a big ol’ YAY to black girls creating media and saying what’s on their minds! Speaking back to Wayne’s misogyny is super important!

That said, I wonder about the limits of such a message.

Steve Harvey’s views on women are not progressive. He’s simply peddling a more respectable sort of black gender relations that still have women in the role of subservient sex goddesses but with a bit more modesty. To set him up as a positive alternative to Wayne misses his own belief in narrow gender roles for men and women. The song disparages Wayne for being single and seems to imply that ideally he should be married or that if he was acting right he would be. Erykah Badu is signaled as a “good” artist despite having worked with Wayne (and she’s single too; tweets is watchin’).

Wayne gets constructed as wholly negative and Lauryn Hill et. al as wholly positive. That good vs. evil split is a little too easy and doesn’t get at the complexity of the issues I have with Wayne’s music. For me it’s not so much the “calling women out their names” as it is his objectification of women that informs his word choice and the earlier trauma in his life that may impact his behavior.

When we are young and maybe a little influenced by our parents, we can go a little too hard in the virtuous/Queen/good black people paint. In speaking back to Wayne and other rappers with misogynistic lyrics we have to be careful we don’t end up creating a new box for women, that is just as limiting if a bit more respectful. The “Madonna” is just as limiting as the “whore”, even if she gets more props.

I ain’t mad at them though and I definitely am sending them love, particularly since they are getting such hateful comments on the video’s Youtube page.

The three black girls embracing each other who made the video giving peace signs to the camera

Congratulations, Watoto From The Nile, for rekindling a conversation that needs to be had!

The Year in Crunk: CFC Turns One!

1 Mar
CFC 1st Anniversary Cake

This cake was so good!!!

Today is the 1-year anniversary of the CFC!!! We want to thank all of you for your support and your participation in this community. It has been an absolutely CrunkTabulous year! And the best is yet to come!!! This month in addition to our regular posts on politics, relationships, and pop culture, we’ll be featuring some periodic reflections on our year in Crunk. We invite you to share with us what this site has to meant to you — or anything else you’d like to share with us really. But to kick it off, below are a few CFs reflecting on their year in Crunk!

Btw, Happy Women’s History Month as well!!!

CF Sheri:

I always feel like I am my best self when I am in community and collaboration with others.  The CFC has reminded me that when I ask the universe for what I want and don’t shun the opportunity when it shows itself that there are great rewards.  The CFC has been better than any prestigious professional or academic fellowship because I have grown professionally and I feel supported personally.  The CFC displays the type of raceandgender-conscious commitment to people of color that makes me want to be a better writer, thinker, teacher, and organizer.  For the first time I am representing myself and my interests first as a member of a collective, rather than always being an advocate or representative for the interests and needs of others.  Being able to fellowship and learn from such amazing women makes all the difficult and confusing parts of my graduate experience worthwhile.  Being part of a sisterhood makes me feel powerful and accountable.  That’s what I have always wanted.  Get Crunk!

CF Moya:

I had some initial hesitations about becoming a part of the collective. I felt ambivalent about hip-hop and wanted to focus on grad school by eliminating other “distractions.” But my desire for connection to this group of people I really admired won over reason. I started posting and couldn’t stop. I’ve really enjoyed the community that we’ve created for ourselves and those who read the blog. What was once a distraction has become a comforting reminder of why I do the work I do in the world.

CF Asha:

This year, I’ve learned that being crunk means that you boldly live out the politics you preach.  I’ve learned that the way to not die is to lean on, love on and laugh with those who stand in solidarity and struggle. Congrats on our first year together!

CF Robin:

This time last year I was ambivalent about female friendships.  I love/admire/respect/appreciate/stand (up) for in solidarity/treasure/collect stories of/write about black women and women of color…but I have also been injured emotionally and flat out rejected.  So, when initially approached about being a part of a collective, I felt “some kinda way about it.”  But I did it anyway.  Hesitantly and enthusiastically at the same time.  And I was accepted. Liked.  Supported. Appreciated. Talked with (not to or about). Loved. Finally. I was not being judged because of my politics or marginalized for being different.  I was being embraced.  And I felt empowered.  And understood. Finally. I found myself in the words and act(ion)s of women who saw in me them, while I saw in them, me.  A year in crunkness has been a way and opportunity to save myself in a wasteland and to embrace the “blackgirlness” and “grownwomanness” that merge in me, and in others, in beautiful ways. Cheers to us!

CF Susana:

When I spoke to Crunktastic last year about reviving the CFC, I’ll admit I had high hopes for what the collective could do. And the blog has been a runaway success, which is very gratifying. But what has perhaps been most gratifying is the camaraderie and support I have received from and seen shared among members of the CFC and our very crunk, very fierce readers. This past year has shown me in so many ways that feminism indeed lives and that the revolution is on!

CF Brittney:

This first year in Crunk has been soul-sustaining, life-affirming, communion-driven, and laugh-out-loud funny. It has shifted my paradigms, enriched my scholarship, emboldened my politics, and clarified my perspectives. I feel so incredibly lucky to be in intentional community with a group of brilliant sisters (and one brave brother) who have committed to caring for one another through our weekly words, our daily politics, and our very lives. This year I have been shown all the wonderful possibilities of a feminist life – every CF who has contributed to this endeavor has taught me something about myself, about how to make this world better, about how much we need each other. Feminism is not merely theory, nor even only what we practice. It is a lifestyle of intentional commitments to dismantling patriarchy and racism, and all their progeny – sexism, ableism, heterosexism, classism and more. This year in Crunk has been everything I love about chick flicks—Y’all have been my Girlfriends as I’m Living Single (and you have taught me how to do that with unapologetic verve); Here I have been able both to Exhale and to Set It Off. It has been everything I loved about those movies and nothing I’ve hated about the ubiquitous robber of Black women’s stories movie producer who shall remain nameless. I have been reminded that feminism is not merely the progressive woman’s annoying radio personality/pseudo love expert’s relationship handbook (i.e. it’ll teach you how to get your man to act right). It might be that, but it is so, so much more than that. For it has taught me to how to take the best kept lessons from the community of women who raised me and and translate it into a chosen family of scholarly sisters (and brother) who keep me lifted. Happy Birthday CFC, and here’s wishing you many more abundant years to come!!!!

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